Monday, March 28, 2011
Frugal Feeding of the Family
Do you think it's getting harder and harder to keep your food costs within your monthly budget? I sure do! Lately I have been feeling like the grocery bill is growing out of control, and that, combined with the higher cost of gas has made me want to take another look at exactly where we can cut costs and save a little more.
Just yesterday I read an article in our Sunday paper (Chattanooga Times Free Press) on the sharp rise in grocery prices and it really got me thinking. I knew the price of food had been going up and up. I can feel the sting each time I grocery shop! Here are some specifics from the article that are real eye openers..... In January, chicken legs were $1.26 a pound, in February they were 30 cents more. A pound of iceberg lettuce increased from $1.02 to $1.13. Last February the same lettuce cost 89 cents. A pound of bacon was $3.40 last February (2010) and last month it was $4.27. February had the largest monthly increase in average food costs in 2 1/2 years, with costs rising for most major groups including meat, dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables, according to the Consumer Price Index released in March. The price of some items, such as tomatoes, lettuce, and some meats increased more than 10 percent! Apparently there is no relief in sight - the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts food prices will increase 3 to 4 percent this year. Moderation is expected soon on the prices of fruits and vegetables but meat prices and average grocery prices are likely to continue climbing.
The largest expense on our monthly budget is food. It's also one of the only areas where we can change how much we are spending (up or down). Most of the monthly expenses are fixed. The food budget however can be tweaked and that's what I'm interested in doing. As workers at home it is our job to serve healthy, delicious meals to our families while being mindful of how much we are spending. This is not always an easy job, especially for a family with lots of growing children! How can we best use our food budget and take good care of our families?
I'm looking for your most frugal meal recipe! Would you be willing to share? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here and I will do a guest post soon with the recipes and a link to your blog if you would like. We need healthy, frugal recipes that we can feed our families while spending less at the grocery store. Please share!